MANIFEST is a multi-object fibre positioner for the Giant Magellan Telescope that uses ‘Starbug’ robots to accurately position fibre units across the telescope’s focal plane. MANIFEST, when coupled to the telescope’s planned seeing-limited instruments, GMACS and GCLEF, offers access to: larger fields of view; higher multiplex gains; versatile focal plane reformatting of the focal plane via multiple integral-field-units; increased spectral resolution using image-slicers; the capability for simultaneous observations with multiple instruments; the possibility of a gravity-invariant spectrograph mounting; the potential for OH suppression via fiber systems in the near-infrared; and the versatility of adding new instruments in the future. We have now completed the pre-concept phase for MANIFEST. This phase has focused on developing the science case and requirements, further developing high risk aspects of the instrument design, designing the opto-mechanical interfaces to the GMACS and GCLEF instruments, and detailing the interfaces to the GMT.
MANIFEST is a multi-object fibre facility for the Giant Magellan Telescope that uses ‘Starbug’ robots to accurately position fibre units across the telescope’s focal plane. MANIFEST, when coupled to the telescope’s planned seeinglimited instruments, offers access to larger fields of view; higher multiplex gains; versatile focal plane reformatting of the focal plane via integral-field-units; image-slicers; and in some cases higher spatial and spectral resolution. The TAIPAN instrument on the UK Schmidt Telescope is now close to science verification which will demonstrate the feasibility of the Starbug concept. We are now moving into the conceptual development phase for MANIFEST, with a focus on developing interfaces for the telescope and for the instruments.
Instrument development for the 24m Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is described: current activities, progress, status, and schedule. One instrument team has completed its preliminary design and is currently beginning its final design (GCLEF, an optical 350-950 nm, high-resolution and precision radial velocity echelle spectrograph). A second instrument team is in its conceptual design phase (GMACS, an optical 350-950 nm, medium resolution, 6-10 arcmin field, multi-object spectrograph). A third instrument team is midway through its preliminary design phase (GMTIFS, a near-IR YJHK diffraction-limited imager/integral-field-spectrograph), focused on risk reduction prototyping and design optimization. A fourth instrument team is currently fabricating the 5 silicon immersion gratings needed to begin its preliminary design phase (GMTNIRS, a simultaneous JHKLM high-resolution, AO-fed, echelle spectrograph). And, another instrument team is focusing on technical development and prototyping (MANIFEST, a facility robotic, multifiber feed, with a 20 arcmin field of view). In addition, a medium-field (6 arcmin, 0.06 arcsec/pix) optical imager will support telescope and AO commissioning activities, and will excel at narrow-band imaging. In the spirit of advancing synergies with other groups, the challenges of running an ELT instrument program and opportunities for cross-ELT collaborations are discussed.
MANIFEST is a facility multi-object fibre system for the Giant Magellan Telescope, which uses ‘Starbug’ fibre positioning robots. MANIFEST, when coupled to the telescope’s planned seeing-limited instruments, GMACS, and G-CLEF, offers access to: larger fields of view; higher multiplex gains; versatile reformatting of the focal plane via IFUs; image-slicers; and in some cases higher spatial and spectral resolution. The Prototyping Design Study phase for MANIFEST, nearing completion, has focused on developing a working prototype of a Starbugs system, called TAIPAN, for the UK Schmidt Telescope, which will conduct a stellar and galaxy survey of the Southern sky. The Prototyping Design Study has also included work on the GMT instrument interfaces. In this paper, we outline the instrument design features of TAIPAN, highlight the modifications that will be necessary for the MANIFEST implementation, and provide an update on the MANIFEST/instrument interfaces.
Multi-object spectroscopy has been a key technique contributing to the current era of ‘precision cosmology.’ From the first exploratory surveys of the large-scale structure and evolution of the universe to the current generation of superbly detailed maps spanning a wide range of redshifts, multi-object spectroscopy has been a fundamentally important tool for mapping the rich structure of the cosmic web and extracting cosmological information of increasing variety and precision. This will continue to be true for the foreseeable future, as we seek to map the evolving geometry and structure of the universe over the full extent of cosmic history in order to obtain the most precise and comprehensive measurements of cosmological parameters. Here I briefly summarize the contributions that multi-object spectroscopy has made to cosmology so far, then review the major surveys and instruments currently in play and their prospects for pushing back the cosmological frontier. Finally, I examine some of the next generation of instruments and surveys to explore how the field will develop in coming years, with a particular focus on specialised multi-object spectrographs for cosmology and the capabilities of multi-object spectrographs on the new generation of extremely large telescopes.
The Australian Space Eye is a proposed astronomical telescope based on a 6U CubeSat platform. The Space Eye will exploit the low level of systematic errors achievable with a small space based telescope to enable high accuracy measurements of the optical extragalactic background light and low surface brightness emission around nearby galaxies. This project is also a demonstrator for several technologies with general applicability to astronomical observations from nanosatellites. Space Eye is based around a 90 mm aperture clear aperture all refractive telescope for broadband wide field imaging in the i' and z' bands.
Instrument development for the 25 m class optical/infrared Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is actively underway. Two
instruments have begun their preliminary design phase: an optical (350-1000 nm) high resolution and precision radial
velocity echelle spectrograph (G-CLEF), and a near-IR (YJHK) diffraction-limited imager/integral-field-spectrograph
(GMTIFS). A third instrument will begin its design phase in early 2015: an optical (370-1000 nm) low-to-medium
resolution multi-object spectrograph (GMACS). Two other instrument teams are focusing on prototypes to demonstrate
final feasibility: a near-to-mid-IR (JHKLM) high resolution diffraction-limited echelle (GMTNIRS) spectrograph, and a
facility robotic multi-fiber-feed (MANIFEST). A brief overview of the GMT instrumentation program is presented:
current activities, progress, status, and schedule, as well as a summary of the facility infrastructure needed to support the
MANIFEST is a fibre feed system for the Giant Magellan Telescope that, coupled to the seeing-limited instruments
GMACS and G-CLEF, offers qualitative and quantitative gains over each instrument’s native capabilities in terms of
multiplex, field of view, and resolution. The MANIFEST instrument concept is based on a system of semi-autonomous
probes called “Starbugs” that hold and position hundreds of optical fibre IFUs under a glass field plate placed at the
GMT Cassegrain focal plane. The Starbug probes feature co-axial piezoceramic tubes that, via the application of
appropriate AC waveforms, contract or bend, providing a discrete stepping motion. Simultaneous positioning of all
Starbugs is achieved via a closed-loop metrology system.
4MOST is a wide-field, high-multiplex spectroscopic survey facility under development for the VISTA telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Its main science drivers are in the fields of galactic archeology, high-energy physics, galaxy evolution and cosmology. 4MOST will in particular provide the spectroscopic complements to the large
area surveys coming from space missions like Gaia, eROSITA, Euclid, and PLATO and from ground-based facilities like VISTA, VST, DES, LSST and SKA. The 4MOST baseline concept features a 2.5 degree diameter field-of-view with ~2400 fibres in the focal surface that are configured by a fibre positioner based on the tilting spine principle. The fibres feed two types of spectrographs; ~1600 fibres go to two spectrographs with resolution R<5000 (λ~390-930 nm) and
~800 fibres to a spectrograph with R>18,000 (λ~392-437 nm and 515-572 nm and 605-675 nm). Both types of spectrographs are fixed-configuration, three-channel spectrographs. 4MOST will have an unique operations concept in which 5 year public surveys from both the consortium and the ESO community will be combined and observed in parallel during each exposure, resulting in more than 25 million spectra of targets spread over a large fraction of the
southern sky. The 4MOST Facility Simulator (4FS) was developed to demonstrate the feasibility of this observing
concept. 4MOST has been accepted for implementation by ESO with operations expected to start by the end of 2020.
This paper provides a top-level overview of the 4MOST facility, while other papers in these proceedings provide more
detailed descriptions of the instrument concept, the instrument requirements development, the systems engineering implementation, the instrument model, the fibre positioner concepts, the fibre feed, and the spectrographs.
TAIPAN is a spectroscopic instrument designed for the UK Schmidt Telescope at the Australian Astronomical Observatory. In addition to undertaking the TAIPAN survey, it will serve as a prototype for the MANIFEST fibre positioner system for the future Giant Magellan Telescope. The design for TAIPAN incorporates up to 300 optical fibres situated within independently-controlled robotic positioners known as Starbugs, allowing precise parallel positioning of every fibre, thus significantly reducing instrument configuration time and increasing observing time. We describe the design of the TAIPAN instrument system, as well as the science that will be accomplished by the TAIPAN survey. We also highlight results from the on-sky tests performed in May 2014 with Starbugs on the UK Schmidt Telescope and briefly introduce the role that Starbugs will play in MANIFEST.
We present a concept for a 4000-fibre positioner for DESpec, based on the Echidna ‘tilting spine’ technology. The DESpec focal plane is 450mm across and curved, and the required pitch is ~6.75mm. The size, number of fibers and curvature are all comparable with various concept studies for similar instruments already undertaken at the AAO, but present new challenges in combination. A simple, low-cost, and highly modular design is presented, consisting of identical modules populated by identical spines. No show-stopping issues in accommodating either the curvature or the smaller pitch have been identified, and the actuators consist largely of off-the-shelf components. The actuators have been prototyped at AAO, and allow reconfiguration times of ~15s to reach position errors 7 microns or less. Straightforward designs for metrology, acquisition, and guiding are also proposed. The throughput losses of the entire positioner system are estimated to be ~15%, of which 6.3% is attributable to the tilting-spine technology.
The High Efficiency and Resolution Multi Element Spectrograph, HERMES is an optical spectrograph designed
primarily for the GALAH, Galactic Archeology Survey, the first major attempt to create a detailed understanding of
galaxy formation and evolution by studying the history of our own galaxy, the Milky Way1. The goal of the GALAH
survey is to reconstruct the mass assembly history of the of the Milky way, through a detailed spatially tagged
abundance study of one million stars in the Milky Way. The spectrograph will be based at the Anglo Australian
Telescope (AAT) and be fed with the existing 2dF robotic fibre positioning system. The spectrograph uses VPH-gratings
to achieve a spectral resolving power of 28,000 in standard mode and also provides a high resolution mode ranging
between 40,000 to 50,000 using a slit mask. The GALAH survey requires a SNR greater than 100 aiming for a star
brightness of V=14. The total spectral coverage of the four channels is about 100nm between 370 and 1000nm for up to
392 simultaneous targets within the 2 degree field of view.
Current efforts are focused on manufacturing and integration. The delivery date of spectrograph at the telescope is
scheduled for 2013. A performance prediction is presented and a complete overview of the status of the HERMES
spectrograph is given. This paper details the following specific topics:
The approach to AIT, the manufacturing and integration of the large mechanical frame, the opto-mechanical slit
assembly, collimator optics and cameras, VPH gratings, cryostats, fibre cable assembly, instrument control hardware and
software, data reduction.
The Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) will fill an important gap in the current suite of Gemini
instruments. We will describe the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)-led concept for GHOST, which consists
of a multi-object, compact, high-efficiency, fixed-format, fiber-fed design. The spectrograph itself is a four-arm variant
of the asymmetric white-pupil echelle Kiwispec spectrograph, Kiwisped, produced by Industrial Research Ltd. This
spectrograph has an R4 grating and a 100mm pupil, and separate cross-disperser and camera optics for each of the four
arms, carefully optimized for their respective wavelength ranges. We feed this spectrograph with a miniature lensletbased
IFU that sub-samples the seeing disk of a single object into 7 hexagonal sub-images, reformatting this into a slit
with a second set of double microlenses at the spectrograph entrance with relatively little loss due to focal-ratio
degradation. This reformatting enables high spectral resolution from a compact design that fits well within the relatively
tight GHOST budget. We will describe our baseline 2-object R~50,000 design with full wavelength coverage from the
ultraviolet to the silicon cutoff, as well as the high-resolution single-object R~75,000 mode.
The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) has recently completed a feasibility study for a fiber-positioner facility proposed for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), called MANIFEST (the Many Instrument Fiber System). The MANIFEST instrument takes full advantage of the wide-field focal plane to efficiently feed other instruments. About 2000 individually deployable fiber units are envisaged, with a wide variety of aperture types (single-aperture, image- or pupil-slicing, IFU). MANIFEST allows (a) full use of the GMT's 20' field-of-view, (b) a multiplexed IFU capability, (c) greatly increased spectral resolution via image-slicing, (d) the possibility of OH-suppression in the near-infrared.
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a 25.4-m optical/infrared telescope constructed from seven 8.4-m primary
mirror segments. The collecting area is equivalent to a 21.6-m filled aperture. The instrument development program was
formalized about two years ago with the initiation of 14-month conceptual design studies for six candidate instruments.
These studies were completed at the end of 2011 with a design review for each. In addition, a feasibility study was
performed for a fiber-feed facility that will direct the light from targets distributed across GMT's full 20 arcmin field of
view simultaneously to three spectrographs. We briefly describe the features and science goals for these instruments, and
the process used to select those instruments that will be funded for fabrication first. Detailed reports for most of these
instruments are presented separately at this meeting.
SAMI (Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral field spectrograph) has the potential to revolutionise our understanding
of galaxies, with spatially-resolved spectroscopy of large numbers of targets. It is the first on-sky application of
innovative photonic imaging bundles called hexabundles, which will remove the aperture effects that have biased
previous single-fibre multi-object astronomical surveys. The hexabundles have lightly-fused circular multi-mode
cores with a covering fraction of 73%. The thirteen hexabundles in SAMI, each have 61 fibre cores, and feed
into the AAOmega spectrograph at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT). SAMI was installed at the AAT in
July 2011 and the first commissioning results prove the effectiveness of hexabundles on sky. A galaxy survey of
several thousand galaxies to z 0.1 will begin with SAMI in mid-2012.
KOALA, the Kilofibre Optimised Astronomical Lenslet Array, is a wide-field, high efficiency integral field unit
being designed for use with the bench mounted AAOmega spectrograph on the AAT. KOALA will have 1000
fibres in a rectangular array with a selectable field of view of either 1390 or 430 sq. arcseconds with a spatial
sampling of 1.25" or 0.7" respectively. To achieve this KOALA will use a telecentric double lenslet array with
interchangeable fore-optics. The IFU will feed AAOmega via a 31m fibre run. The efficiency of KOALA is
expected to be ≈ 52% at 3700A and ≈ 66% at 6563°Å with a throughput of > 52% over the entire wavelength
First light from the SAMI (Sydney-AAO Multi-object IFS) instrument at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) has
recently proven the viability of fibre hexabundles for multi-IFU spectroscopy. SAMI, which comprises 13 hexabundle
IFUs deployable over a 1 degree field-of-view, has recently begun science observations, and will target a survey of
several thousand galaxies. The scientific outputs from such galaxy surveys are strongly linked to survey size, leading the
push towards instruments with higher multiplex capability. We have begun work on a new instrument concept, called
Hector, which will target a spatially-resolved spectroscopic survey of up to one hundred thousand galaxies. The key
science questions for this instrument concept include how do galaxies get their gas, how is star formation and nuclear
activity affected by environment, what is the role of feedback, and what processes can be linked to galaxy groups and
clusters. One design option for Hector uses the existing 2 degree field-of view top end at the AAT, with 50 individual
robotically deployable 61-core hexabundle IFUs, and 3 fixed format spectrographs covering the visible wavelength range
with a spectral resolution of approximately 4000. A more ambitious option incorporates a modified top end at the AAT
with a new 3 degree field-of-view wide-field-corrector and 100 hexabundle IFUs feeding 6 spectrographs.
GNOSIS has provided the first on-telescope demonstration of a concept to utilize complex aperioidc fiber Bragg
gratings to suppress the 103 brightest atmospheric hydroxyl emission doublets between 1.47-1.7 μm. The unit is
designed to be used at the 3.9-meter Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) feeding the IRIS2 spectrograph. Unlike
previous atmospheric suppression techniques GNOSIS suppresses the lines before dispersion. We present the
results of laboratory and on-sky tests from instrument commissioning. These tests reveal excellent suppression
performance by the gratings and high inter-notch throughput, which combine to produce high fidelity OH-free
We describe the preliminary design of the Dark Energy Spectrometer (DESpec), a fiber-fed spectroscopic instrument
concept for the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). DESpec would take
advantage of the infrastructure recently deployed for the Dark Energy Camera (DECam). DESpec would be mounted in
the new DECam prime focus cage, would be interchangeable with DECam, would share the DECam optical corrector,
and would feature a focal plane with ~4000 robotically positioned optical fibers feeding multiple high-throughput
spectrometers. The instrument would have a field of view of 3.8 square degrees, a wavelength range of approximately
500<<1000 nm, and a spectral resolution of R~3000. DESpec would provide a powerful spectroscopic follow-up
system for sources in the Southern hemisphere discovered by the Dark Energy Survey and LSST.λ
MANIFEST (the Many Instrument Fiber System) is a proposed fiber-positioner for the GMT, capable of feeding other
instruments as needed. It is a simple, flexible and modular design, based on the AAO's Starbugs, the University of
Sydney's Hexabundles, and extensive use of standard telecommunications fiber technology. Up to 2000 individually
deployable fiber units are envisaged, with a wide variety of aperture types (single-aperture, image-slicing, IFU).
MANIFEST allows (a) full use of the GMT's 20' field-of-view, (b) a multiplexed IFU capability, (c) greatly increased
spectral resolution via image-slicing, (d) efficient detector packing both spectrally and spatially, (e) the possibility of
OH-suppression in the near-infrared. Together, these gains make GMT the most powerful of the ELT's for wide-field
spectroscopy. It is intended that MANIFEST will form part of the GMT facility itself, available to any instrument able
to make use of it.
ERASMUS-F is a pathfinder study for a possible E-ELT 3D-instrumentation, funded by the German Ministry for
Education and Research (BMBF). The study investigates the feasibility to combine a broadband optical spectrograph
with a new generation of multi-object deployable fibre bundles. The baseline approach is to modify the spectrograph of
the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), which is a VLT integral-field instrument using slicers, with a fibre-fed
input. Taking advantage of recent developments in astrophotonics, it is planed to equip such an instrument with fused
fibre bundles (hexabundles) that offer larger filling factors than dense-packed classical fibres.
The overall project involves an optical and mechanical design study, the specifications of a software package for 3Dspectrophotometry,
based upon the experiences with the P3d Data Reduction Software and an investigation of the
science case for such an instrument. As a proof-of-concept, the study also involves a pathfinder instrument for the VLT,
called the FIREBALL project.
OzPoz is the multi-fiber positioner feeding the spectrographs GIRAFFE and UVES from a Nasmyth focus of VLT Unit Telescope 2. Together with GIRAFFE and UVES, it forms the FLAMES facility. FLAMES has been available for observing since successful completion of its science verification in Jan/Feb 2003. An aim of paramount importance in the design and construction of OzPoz was achievement of high reliability with minimal maintenance in the demanding Cerro Paranal VLT environment. Judged by its first 13 months of operation, it has been very successful in this respect, with an average of only 1% of observing time lost to problems; in the last 5 months of this period, the average was less than 0.1%. Of about 360 fibers and fiber bundles fed from deployable buttons on the two field plates, only one has become unusable (through breakage). The time taken to re-configure the fibers on one plate is always less than the exposure time (a minimum of 20 minutes) on the other (observing) plate, so no observing time is lost on that account and the time to interchange the two plates and acquire the new field is only about 5 minutes. The faintness of objects for which useful spectra can be obtained depends on the accuracy with which the sky background can be subtracted and this, in turn, depends on how well the relative spectral transmissions of fibers allocated to sky and to objects can be calibrated. An accuracy of 0.3% rms has been achieved.
An Australian consortium of astronomers and engineers (based at AAO, MSSSO and UNSW) were contracted by the European Southern Observatory to carry out a one-year concept design study for a near-infrared multi-object spectrograph for the VLT. The primary scientific motivation for this instrument was the detection and study of high-redshift galaxies. The scope of the study included the elucidation of the main science drivers and the development of a VLT instrumentation strategy best suited to those goals. The underlying instrumental philosophy was to supply a significant object multiplex at a high enough spectral resolution to resolve the internal kinematics of galaxies. This science-driven goal also permitted digital OH sky-suppression, yielding better S/N and spectral coverage than at lower resolutions. A full contiguous wavelength coverage from 0.9 micrometer to 1.8 micrometer is achieved through the use of multiple HgCdTe-based spectrograph cameras. A preliminary optical design for the spectrographs has been achieved as has a detailed concept design for the 400-fiber positioner and multiple integral field units. With these capabilities, the proposed instrument is highly effective both for statistical studies of large numbers of object and detailed studies of individual objects. In addition, the development of a novel fiber optic switching facility permits simultaneous wavelength coverage over the entire optical and near-infrared windows (from 0.45 micrometer to 1.8 micrometer) by the use of dichroics and additional CCD- based spectrographs. The very broad range of science that can be carried out with AUSTRALIS spans fields as diverse as galaxy evolution and large-scale structure, the detection of primeval galaxies, the spatially-resolved kinematics of nearby AGN and star-forming regions, globular cluster dynamics and follow-ups to all-sky surveys.